Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Do you want fries with that?

There is a museum for everything.  Well, maybe not everything but definitely things I never knew there were museums for.  This week we stopped at one of those.  I know last week I mentioned that we weren't talking food anymore for a while.  I guess I lied.  I didn't mean to.  When I said it I was absolutely sure that we were not going to talk about any kind of food.  I'm sorry.  I really really am.  We weren't talking about food until we bumped into this little gem.  The McDonald's in North Hollywood California.

When you hear the word Hollywood you think all the glamour of the stars.  Things that glimmer and are made of gold.  You think fancy dresses and sleek parties.  That's what I thought at least.  Its not really like that.  Its a regular old city with regular old things right up until you stop in and check out this place.  It wouldn't be fair if I didn't warn you that this isn't the nicest McDonald's in the world.  Ordering was a struggle due to language differences but we were fed and no one died.  I call that a success.  Check out their Yelp reviews if you really want to dig in deep.  Lets just leave it at that.

Richard and Maurice McDonald left their native New Hampshire for the dream of making it big as Hollywood producers.  Lucky for us their dream never came to be and they settled for opening a tiny drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California on May 15th, 1940. They started as a slow cooked for hours BBQ with a 25 item menu.  The drive-in featured female carhops in majorette boots and short skirts serving customers in their parking lot.  After World War II they realized that 80 percent of their sales came from basic hamburgers.  They gave the place a complete overhaul over a three month closing and what came from this was the beginnings of what we know today.  They focused on speed, lower prices and volume.  Obviously that is a great working model because it became a hit.  A sales man named Ray Krok visited San Bernardino in 1954 to see why the McDonald's could possibly need eight of his Multi-Mixers capable of making 48 milkshakes at once for just one location. Seeing the potential in the business Krok bought the rights to franchise the restaurant across the country and in 1955 his first McDonald's opened in Des Plaines, Illinios. In 1961 Krok purchased the company in whole from the McDonald brothers for 2.7 million.  Things weren't exactly smooth between the brothers and the salesman.  The brothers kept the original San Bernardino restaurant to the annoyance of Krok and renamed it "Big M".  To gain his revenge, Krok opened a McDonald's around the block and eventually drove the brothers out of business.  

In the heart of North Hollywood on 6309 Lankershim Blvd is a McDonald's that celebrates the history that has been over 75 years in the making. While I wouldn't call it an official museum it offers a step back in time to memories we all have from childhood.  Officer Big Mac and Ronald McDonald welcomed us into the store on the main floor and it was just a taste of what they had to offer.  

As you round your way up the stairs to their play land it opens up like a mini museum of McDonald's history.  The characters I remember from my childhood were all there to spark my memories alive again. 

There were even characters I didn't remember.  I have no idea where this pirate guy came from but he looks like he fits in as one of the group. No matter what happens in life Hamburglar will always be my favorite. 

The walls are decorated with aged posters, pictures, memorabilia and news clippings chronicling the humble growth of a mega star restaurant. 

  While they didn't find success in the movie business of Hollywood they changed the fast food world forever. 

Jim Gaffigan has this bit about everyone eating at McDonalds but no one will admit it.  Its kind of a guilty pleasure.  Its not on any healthy meal plan I have ever had, but its affordable, fast and part of our history.  Just for fun here is the link to Jim Gaffigans take on McDonalds. It is so worth watching.  That's just my opinion but I think all of his stuff is magic.  Its one of those YouTube rabbit holes we fall into and hours later we have no idea where our time has gone.  Magical.  Watch it below and you can thank us later.


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